More than 1500 people turned out for the world premiere of Northland movie James & Isey in Auckland's iconic Civic Theatre on Saturday.
The documentary, by Paihia filmmaker Florian Habicht, explores the relationship between 102-year-old Isey Cross of Kawakawa and her son James, and was filmed in the lead-up to Isey's 100th birthday.
James had insisted on a premiere at the Civic because it was where, during World War II, his mother last went to the movies.
Students from Bay of Islands College cultural group Te Roopu o Peowhairangi performed a haka powhiri outside the theatre as the two stars arrived, then performed again on stage before the screening.
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A fleet of buses took Northlanders from the college and Karetu Marae, near Kawakawa, to the event.
The premiere coincided with Isey's 102nd birthday so it was followed by a birthday party at the Winter Gardens in Auckland Domain.
The movie will be released nationwide on May 6 including screenings in Whangārei, Kerikeri and Kaitaia.